Spring is lovely, but it’s also a critical time of year for seasonal allergens. As plants discharge pollen, millions of hay fever sufferers begin to sniffle and breathe.
There is no cure, but there are measures you can take to reduce springtime allergies, from medicine to domestic practices.
Pollen is the most common spring allergic cause. These small granules are released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds to feed other plants. When they enter the nostrils of an allergic person, they cause the body’s defences to go awry.
The immune system misidentifies pollen as a threat and produces antibodies that target allergies. This causes the discharge of molecules known as histamines into the bloodstream. Histamines cause a runny nose, itching eyes, and other symptoms that allergy sufferers are all too acquainted with.
Pollen can move for long distances, so it’s not just about the vegetation in your yard.
Among the triggers are:
- Box elder
Grasses and weeds:
- Perennial rye
- Sweet vernal
Pollen levels are especially high on windy days, when the grains cause sneezing and are carried through the air by the breeze. Rainy days, on the other hand, wipe allergies away.
Pollen isn’t the only cause of the season. With spring rainfall, mould development increases both inside and outside your house. In addition, spring cleaning will spread dust particles throughout the home.
You could have:
- Nasal congestion
- Eyes that are wet
- Eyes and nostrils itch
- Black shadows under the eyes
Begin with your primary care physician. They may send you to an allergist for screening.
The allergy expert may perform a skin test on you, which consists of either pricking the skin with a tiny quantity of allergen (prick test) or injecting a tiny sample of a diluted allergen under the skin of your arm or back. If you are sensitive to the substance, you will develop a tiny red bump (called a wheal or hive). You may be given a blood test on occasion.
Allergy Remedies, both OTC and Prescribed
There are numerous medications available to help with allergy problems. They are as follows:
Antihistamines work by decreasing the quantity of histamine in your body, which reduces sneezing, sniffling, and itchiness.
Decongestants work by constricting the blood capillaries in the nasal passages, reducing congestion and swelling.
Combinations of antihistamines and decongestants blend the effects of both medications.
Nasal spray decongestants alleviate congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages quicker than oral decongestants while avoiding some of the adverse effects of oral decongestants.
Steroid nasal sprays are the recommended first-line therapy because they reduce inflammation. Only three are accessible without a prescription: budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), fluticasone (Flonase), and triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24HR). Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can help avoid hay fever by preventing histamine release before it causes allergic symptoms.
Eye solutions are used to treat irritated, watery eyes. Ketotifen (Zaditor) is a prescription-only medication.
Even though you can purchase these allergic medications without a prescription, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor first to ensure you get the correct medication. Some antihistamines can cause sleepiness, so use caution if you take them during the day. There are also non-drowsy varieties accessible. Consult your doctor if you believe you require over-the-counter medications and decongestants for more than a few days.
Have you attempted over-the-counter medicines and feel the need for something more? Your doctor may advise you to take a prescribed drug, allergy shots, or immunotherapy pills under your tongue. Many steroid nasal mists are also accessible with a prescription.
Immunotherapy involves progressively raising the allergen dose until your body can manage it. The therapy can alleviate your symptoms for a longer period of time than other allergy medicines. Although it does not work for everyone, it can alleviate problems for some individuals for a few years.
Are There Natural Allergy Treatments?
Nasal irrigation removes mucus and opens nasal passageways by combining tepid water, a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda. A squeeze container or a neti pot, which resembles a tiny teapot, can be used. To prepare the solution, use purified, clean, or previously boiled water. It is also critical to clean the irrigation device after each use and to leave it uncovered to air dry.
Others have contradictory studies on how much they help:
Butterbur. This plant, derived from a European shrub, has the ability to alleviate periodic allergy symptoms. According to some research, butterbur – particularly an extract called Ze 339 – works just as well as antihistamines at relieving allergy symptoms.
Quercetin. Onions, apples, and dark tea all contain this vitamin. It has been shown in studies to inhibit the production of histamines.
Nettle is a stinging plant. Although some people use freeze-dried stinging nettle leaves to address allergy complaints, there is little evidence that it helps.
Before beginning any medicinal substance, consult with your doctor. Some can have negative adverse effects or interact with medicines you are taking.
5 Pollen Prevention Strategies
- When the pollen level is extremely high, try to remain indoors. The counts are typically highest in the afternoons.
- To keep allergens out, keep your entrances and windows covered during the spring months. An oxygen filter may also be beneficial.
- Clear your home’s air purifiers on a regular basis. Clean bookcases, ducts, and other areas where pollen can accumulate.
- After walking outside, wash your hair because allergens can gather there.
- Twice a week, vacuum. Wear a respirator when cleaning because it can release pollen, mould, and dust that has become confined in your flooring.